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Old 10-17-2013, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Whitney, Tx
5 posts, read 10,092 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi, I've read quite a few posts on here about Colorado and a few on Woodland Park, but I wanted to know if anyone could help me with some other questions I might have.

I'm currently in central Texas as an oilfield worker. Within a couple years I'll have enough savings to build my dream house. Self sufficiency is so important to me and I am pretty stuck on the idea of building my own home. I'm not a city person, but I do like having a city somewhat close.

I'm a single 32 year old father with custody of my 9 year old son. He has Asperger's, ADHD, and dyslexia. Since I'm single, homeschooling isn't an option. :/

My general opinion of Colorado is that it's a great place to visit. To live? I honestly don't know. I've seen the posts about people worried about race, religion, political affiliations. I'm non-religious and a pretty moderate libertarian. I'm glad other people have religion in their life and I support them in it, it's just not my thing. As far as politics, I'm pro 2A, anti-war on drugs, pro-marriage equality, and generally feel like as long as you aren't hurting anyone you should be able to do what you want. I'm a Marine veteran from OIF I, I'm dependable, and I avoid drama.

I currently live in a town of 2000 people. Retirement town. :/ The nearest movie theater is 45 minutes away. The nearest area with single women? Also 45 minutes away, ha.

After my stint in the oil fields I honestly don't know. I could get into the medical field (I've been told by Dr's and Nurse friends I'd make a great physical therapist) and since Woodland Park has a new hospital...well...
I have an interest in machining, but I read in another thread that that wouldn't be the area to find a machine shop.
I'd like to find a job that would pay a decent wage and let me be home. Since I'm planning on just having a land loan, but building my house in cash I don't think my expenses will be that bad.

2-4 acres would be ideal, and as close to town as possible. I want to start a small homestead. Nothing crazy, just chickens, rabbits, a garden, etc.

I do have a good friend that lives just East of Colorado Springs and she says the move would be good. Colorado's a great place, it's more open minded and friendlier than Texas.

I definitely want to do a scouting trip and actually talk with some locals to get a feel before I commit to anything. Can anyone help?
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,350,694 times
Reputation: 2668
I didn't see any actual questions in there besides, "Can anyone help?". It's difficult to help if we don't know what you want to know. Overall your plan sounds doable but it's hard to tell without any real details. I suggest coming out, meeting with a realtor and checking out that hospital, etc for possible jobs.

Last edited by otterprods; 10-17-2013 at 01:12 PM..
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:58 PM
 
20,308 posts, read 37,797,930 times
Reputation: 18082
Woodland Park is fine; about 9000 feet elevation. May be pricey up there.

You'd do fine here. You want a good school district for the son. Several here are excellent.

The lower the elevation the easier to garden. There are people up in WP who garden; we have a thread on gardening, find it with our search tool.

East of town is lots of acreage, more prairie-like.

Consider the Black Forest area. Wooded. Lots are 3-5 acres. Yes, we just had a large fire in BF this summer, most of it is still there. Some people won't be rebuilding. Should be land there, and/or land with existing homes on it. Look at ppar.com or realtor.com for zip 80908 to get an idea. Black Forest has good school districts (D20 and D38) and is near the new Memorial Hospital North and/or St Francis Medical Center.

Always best to rent a year when changing areas. Quite a lot to choose from along the I-25 corridor.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Whitney, Tx
5 posts, read 10,092 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks! My friend lives between Springs and Peyton. Lots of land...but so very very secluded, lol.

Black Forest seems interesting. I'd have to see it in person. I would love to have trees and still have a view, but the listings I'm seeing are all prairie. I'll have to do more research.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,454 posts, read 2,081,271 times
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Most of Black Forest will not have views if you have trees. Its pretty flat, so if you have a lot of trees they block any view you may have. There are occasional lots that may have both a view and trees though.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Whitney, Tx
5 posts, read 10,092 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by otterprods View Post
I didn't see any actual questions in there besides, "Can anyone help?". It's difficult to help if we don't know what you want to know. Overall your plan sounds doable but it's hard to tell without any real details. I suggest coming out, meeting with a realtor and checking out that hospital, etc for possible jobs.
That's part of the problem...I need to know everything.

Would it be possible to have a social life there as a single parent? It's really just my son and me. We have no one or nothing else tying us down or helping. I don't really have any friends where I live now either. :/

Basically I'm starting from scratch and I need to know where I could make a life. I don't do well in cities. I lived in the suburbs of San Antonio and even walking distance to USAA for 4 years and it was horrible.
I want something far enough away town for a homestead and without restrictions so I can build my home, but close enough to have a social life.

How are the job markets? How nice are neighbors? How open are people to outsiders to the area? What is there to do there for fun? What's a normal day for a local look like? Are there groups? Clubs?

I'm starting from nothing here. I'll have cash in hand and hopes for the future...nothing else. I've been virtually alone for over a year and by the time I make a move I'll have been alone besides my son for a few years.


I guess the biggest thing; is there anyone who can tell me more about the direct area and who can help me look around?
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,350,694 times
Reputation: 2668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eechay View Post
Would it be possible to have a social life there as a single parent?
Yes, but if you live way out on the prairie or back int he woods behind Woodland Park, then your social outlets may be limited without driving into town for that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eechay View Post
Basically I'm starting from scratch and I need to know where I could make a life.
That's why the best thing is for you to come out here and if you're really serious about moving here, rent a place and live in it for a couple of years until you know the area and what suits you best.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eechay View Post
I want something far enough away town for a homestead and without restrictions so I can build my home, but close enough to have a social life.
Those two things are inherently sort of opposed to each other. There are plenty of places relatively clos to town which offer really quiet country living in a cozy mountain setting, but if you really want open space with few restrictions, you'll need to get out of an actual city or township.

"How are the job markets?"
That depends on the type of work you want. Medical is one of the better professions here as afar as availability and need, but they're not exactly giving away jobs here or anywhere.

"How nice are neighbors?"
It depends on the neighborhood and, more importantly, your attitude/actions toward them. All of mine are great.

"How open are people to outsiders to the area?"
Pretty open. The front range is a mostly urban area, and even out in the woods/prairie is a pretty populous area. People are used to outsiders, and most of us used to be one, occasional ignorance notwithstanding.

"What is there to do there for fun?"
Depends what you think fun is. Bagging peaks, paddling ponds, snowboarding, hunting, fishing... yes, tons. Nightclubs, roller coasters, or beaches, then not so much.

"What's a normal day for a local look like?"
What? Come on. Do you want to know what MY normal day looks like? Or that of a 32 year old medical technician on his own homestead. Cuz the first I can totally answer, the 2nd I cannot.

"Are there groups? Clubs?"
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eechay View Post
I'm starting from nothing here. I'll have cash in hand and hopes for the future...nothing else.
Cash in hand is always a good thing. As is hope for the future. It sounds like you don't have a lot to lose by coming out and renting for a while you decide what you really want. I'm pretty sure it will be nicer than wherever you are in small town Texas, but I think entering right into a big real estate commitment could be a mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eechay View Post
guess the biggest thing; is there anyone who can tell me more about the direct area and who can help me look around?
A realtor can help you look around. But they'll want to know you're serious first. There are also rental agents if you want to go that route. other than that, what can I say? We have mountains and forests nearby. Like any fairly large city, COS has traffic and other drawbacks, but it's relatively clean for its size and it has great access to the high country. The high country is stunningly beautiful, especially in summer and winter, but winters can be long and hard and you need a good attitude to get the most out of it all year after year, Denver is an hour north of COS and offers everything that just about any city in america can. It's a nice thing to have close by. Woodland Park would take you away from that, but closer to the high country. It's your choice. You need to come out and see for yourself.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Whitney, Tx
5 posts, read 10,092 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you for helping answer my vague questions Otterprods I know I may not make a lot of sense sometimes, but I appreciate it!
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,350,694 times
Reputation: 2668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eechay View Post
Thank you for helping answer my vague questions Otterprods I know I may not make a lot of sense sometimes, but I appreciate it!
No problem. City Data is a great way to get some quick, free info from locals about a certain place. But it's no substitute for the real thing. I think you mentioned something about some family/friends in the area. Perhaps they'll be able to show you around when you come out?
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:42 AM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
183 posts, read 168,942 times
Reputation: 466
If you really want a garden, Woodland Park's probably not the place for you. At an elevation of roughly 8500 feet, the growing season is short. You need full sun and a greenhouse up here (but we do have some amazing greenhouses & and a very active gardening community spearheaded by the Woodland Park Harvest Center ... The Harvest Center | promoting sustainable lifestyles).

If you want a couple acres, unless you have a sizeable budget, that'll definitely push you out into the county (north or west of Woodland Park & if you go west, you'll be pushing 9,000 feet). Most work up here is service oriented (read: pretty low pay). 75% of Woodland Park residents commute down the pass (to Colorado Springs ... approx. 20 miles one way) for work. If you're out in the county, that could add another 10 miles one way to the commute easy.

I would have to agree with the other posters that the Black Forest area may be a better fit for what you want, especially if your child has special needs and/or you think you might want to go back to school too (you mentioned physical therapy). District 20 covers the western half of Black Forest and is one of the best school districts in the Pikes Peak region. As others said, the area did have a major wildfire last year, torching about 15,000 acres. But Black Forest is a BIG area (several hundred thousand acres). There are lots of 5 acres lots out there too.
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